A brief list of things I’ve been doing other than writing –
- Moved to a new neighborhood! We are now 15 minutes north of Downtown Orlando where we previously lived.
- Sourced furniture to replace the oughts of post-collegiate life like an Ikea media console with the old candle burn we used to cover with a ceramic yellow bulldog.
- Downsized a wedding.
- Canceled the wedding.
- Rescheduled said micro-wedding to 2022.
- Consumed four Real Housewives franchises spanning across a decade of time. (Someone recently referenced knowledge of the Real Housewives universe as encyclopedic which would have annoyed me if it weren’t accurate.)
- Re-evaluated my relationship with alcohol as a direct result of pandemic-related banalities.
- Coordinated my family’s first reunion in 5 years. We’re driving to a local beach house where we’ll shelter in place with High Noons and carbs.
Gosh, it’s March again and I regret not blogging more regularly, like when the pandemic first reached critical mass in the States. I recently rewatched the clip of Donald Trump saying,
It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear. And from our shores, we — you know, it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens. Nobody really knows.February 27, 2020
and truly felt like my brain short-circuited.
Some days I still have trouble believing we existed within the same timeline that reality tv caricature Donald J. Trump appointed his son-in-law real estate developer Jared Kushner to oversee our response against the most devastating pandemic of the 21st century.
I remember the last normal day in the old world because it was my last birthday.
Upon returning from a weekend in St. Augustine together, Roy and I joined my family at the acclaimed Morimoto restaurant in Disney Springs, a highly-trafficked tourist shopping and dining destination on Disney property. Our server apologized with an awkward yet friendly chuckle about the extra-caution required as a result of the increase in Covid-19 cases, 77 a day as of that point. She sanitized our table a few times. Food-runners wore gloves. But my family and our significant others gathered, seven of us shared appetizers and drinks cautiously yet ignorantly.
After all, we had no idea what the year ahead would bring.
As I approach my birthday once again, I feel both traumatized by the dystopian realities this year has impressed upon humanity and uniquely aware that the unrelenting cup of suffering that has poured across the world has scarcely missed me.
I consider the months we’ve spent visiting the grocery store with masks on and jaws clenched, fearing we’d rub our eyes or mouth with our own hands, the hesitation we’ve felt over hugging kin, greeting neighbors, lingering too long.
Earlier this week, I thought about trying to get disinfecting wipes for my mom and conspiring against the purchase limits that were necessary thanks to individuals hoarding pallets of essentials for theirs and theirs alone.
I think about visiting my mom on her birthday last month while she was in the worst shape after her Covid diagnosis. I set up her backyard with balloons, banners, Baby Yoda decals from Party City on the sliding glass doors. My dad woke her up from an afternoon nap and she sat outside with us while holding a comforter around her shoulders. We sat 8-feet apart and laughed through two masks. There was no cake. Although our visit fell outside her contagion period, I still worried about the ethics of seeing her at all. Although she sat with us for an hour, she has no memory of this afternoon at all.
Two days later, my dad went to the hospital with Covid-induced pneumonia and I wondered once more whether I’d see Spring with both my parents.
Over half a million people in this country didn’t.
I have so much more I want to say but for now, I hope we may just share a moment respectfully considering the many Spring did not come for. They were someone’s loved one.
I am glad you are still here.